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Is Anthurium Toxic to Cats? Or is it Safe for Cats?

Is Anthurium Toxic to Cats? Or is it Safe for Cats?

Are Anthurium plants toxic to Cats? Many aroid plants from the Araceae family are toxic.

But what about Anthuriums? One of the most common Anthurium plants is the Flamingo flower or Anthurium andraeanum.

They also go by the names Pigtail plant, Oilcloth flower, Tail flower, and Painter’s palette.

 

Is Anthurium Toxic to Cats?

Anthuriums are toxic to cats as well as other animals and humans. They contain calcium oxalate crystals. These are water-insoluble. The crystals lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling when swallowed. Other effects are difficulty swallowing and breathing and skin and oral irritation. If your cat ingested parts of the plant, seek out a veterinarian.

Is Anthurium Toxic to Cats?
Is Anthurium Toxic to Cats?

 

What Anthurium Plants are

Most Anthurium plants, such as the Flamingo lily, are epiphytes. Epiphytes grow on other plants and objects. They are either found on the ground or in plant crowns.

Most anthurium plants, like this Flamingo Lily, are epiphytes, plants that grow on other objects and plants
Most anthurium plants, like this Flamingo Lily, are epiphytes, plants that grow on other objects and plants.

They need bright indirect sunlight and warm temperatures as well as high humidity. These plants need well-draining soil, or else the roots will suffocate. A common issue is root rot.

Anthuriums grow in South America and the Caribbean. They are slow to moderate growers at best. Some of the anthurium varieties can reach up to 3 feet tall (91cm), according to the University of Florida.

 

Most Common Types of Anthurium

Some of the most common types of Anthurium plants are:

 

Flamingo Flower (Anthurium andraeanum)

The Flamingo flower produces a red bract that is a modified leaf. It is often falsely identified as a flower. The flower itself consists of a spathe and spadix.

The Anthurium Andraeanum or the Flamingo Flower produces a red bract that is commonly confused as a flower
The Anthurium Andraeanum, or the Flamingo Flower, produces a red bract that is commonly confused with a flower

 

King Anthurium (Anthurium veitchii)

These plants produce large green foliage. The leaves are ruffled and look like abs.

The leaves of the King Anthurium (Anthurium veitchii) are large and ruffled that look like abs
The leaves of the King Anthurium (Anthurium veitchii) are large and ruffled that look like abs.

 

Queen Anthurium (Anthurium warocqueanum)

Queen anthuriums produce large pendent foliage and grow best in hanging planters.

 

Calcium Oxalate Crystals

Veteriankey states that Calcium Oxalates are common in houseplants. The calcium oxalate crystals are rarely soluble. More common are insoluble calcium oxalate crystals.

Soluble oxalates are sodium or potassium oxalates.

Fatalities are rare and are mostly connected to insoluble oxalates. The main reason is the obstruction of the airways caused by swelling and kidney failure.

The insoluble type of calcium oxalate crystals present in anthuriums make them toxic to cats
The insoluble type of calcium oxalate crystals present in anthuriums makes them toxic to cats.

 

Signs That Your Cat Ate A Toxic Plant

Common signs your cat ingested a toxic plant are:

  • Change in appetite
  • Change in activity
  • Increased salivation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • tremors
  • ataxia
  • drooling
  • Seizures
  • elevated heart rate
  • increased respiratory rate

 

What To Do If a Cat Eats Anthurium

If you suspect your cat ate a toxic plant, it is important to act fast. The following steps should be followed:

  1. Identify the plant that has been ingested
  2. Remove the plant from the vicinity of the cat
  3. Observe the cat and register its behavior
  4. Contact a veterinarian
  5. Oral or topical treatment may follow

 

How to Create a Safe Environment for Cats

To create a safe space for cats, you should know what the cats need and want. Remove any dangerous and harmful objects and substances, including plants.

Modify the home layout and ensure all toxic plants are on high ground. Felines should not be able to reach them.

To make your home safe for cats, place all toxic plants, anthuriums included, above the ground
To make your home safe for cats, place all toxic plants, anthuriums included, above the ground.

Ensure the environment is free from excessive noise. Most importantly, allow for spaces to play and hide. Make sure both food and water are readily available. Sanitary facilities are important as well.

 

How to Keep Pets Away from Anthurium Plants

To keep cats away from anthurium plants, use physical barriers. Raised beds and fences outside are a good choice.

Physical barriers like raised beds can keep cat-toxic plants like anthuriums away from your feline buddies
Physical barriers like raised beds can keep cat-toxic plants like anthuriums away from your feline buddies.

Inside, you can work with placing plants in rooms the cats are not allowed in. Alternatively, put them on a high ground unreachable for cats. Enclosed containers, as well as terrariums and grow tents, are further options.

In addition, you can use repelling substances cats hate.

As a last resort, get rid of any toxic plant if keeping cats away from them is not an option.

 

Handling Anthurium Plants

Always wear gloves when you are working with Anthurium plants. Specifically if you are cutting, potting, or repotting them.

Don't forget to wear gardening gloves before you handle anthurium plants as their sap is a skin irritant
Don’t forget to wear gardening gloves before you handle anthurium plants as their sap is a skin irritant

The plant sap can lead to skin irritation, and ingestion can have adverse health effects such as difficulty swallowing.

 

Cat-Safe Houseplants

The following houseplants are cat-safe:

  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum)
  • African Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  • Aluminium Plant (Pilea cadierei)
  • Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus)
  • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exalta bostoniensis)
  • Cushion Aloe (Haworthia retusa)
  • Blue Hens and Chicks (Echeveria glauca)
  • Nerve plant (Fittonia verschaffeltii)
  • Flame African Violet (Episcia reptans)
  • Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata)

Read this article for a list of cat-save houseplants.

 

Why Anthurium is Toxic

Anthurium is toxic to cats because they contain calcium oxalates. These are water-insoluble crystals.

Any ingestion or even skin contact is sufficient to cause adverse effects. These poisonous plants have adverse effects on cats and dogs.

They are also toxic to humans. Further symptoms of anthurium toxicity are mouth pain, swelling of the throat, and irritation of the mouth.

 

How to Keep Pets Safe in the Garden

Keep toxic plants out of reach outside. This can be achieved by keeping plants in a safe location.

Cats should not be able to touch the plant. Shelves and other high places are ideal.

Use fencing and other physical obstructions outside.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Anthurium Being Toxic to Cats

 

Is anthurium toxic to cats?

The flamingo plant, also known as the flamingo flower, is toxic to pets and humans. Keep your cat safe by placing the plants in high places.

 

Will anthurium kill cats?

If your cats ingest part of the flamingo flower, observe your plants. Anthuriums are toxic to cats. Cats and dogs can have adverse health effects caused by toxic oxalate crystals, such as oral irritation and swelling. Kidney failure is rare.

 

Are anthurium leaves poisonous to cats?

Anthurium leaves are toxic and can lead to oral irritation. For the most part, nibbling on the foliage causes mild to moderate symptoms.


Call the pet poison helpline if your cat ate parts of an anthurium plant.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.